Hey all, have a question on my water profile - specifically in regards to my bicarbonate level which is at 468, which seems really high compared to others Iíve seen. Iíve done a bit of research but have found mixed answers as to what effects this can have on beer. Generally, Iíve been cutting it with distilled water to drop the level but it ends up being a significant added expense when doing it batch after batch. Any thoughts on this? Is a high bicarbonate level significant if all the other levels fit within a profile?
Thanks in advance!
_________________ Beer is made with hops. Hops are plants. Beer is salad.
Joined: 12 Dec 2010 Posts: 10895 Location: Ottawa, Canada
Drinking: Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Wit, Janet's Brown, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter
Working on: Belgian Quad, Belgian IPA
Link Posted: Sun Mar 07, 2021 5:24 pm Post subject:
Bicarbonate (sometimes called Alkalinity which is just a different way to measure) isn't something I directly look at, only indirectly.
Is a high bicarbonate level significant if all the other levels fit within a profile?
If the bicarbonate / alkalinity is high, the other levels will likely not fit within certain profiles (all depends on what you're targeting).
Go through my guide and try to make things fit to your profile with your water. If the numbers are too high, then it won't fit, because your bicarbonate / alkalinity is too high and you'll need to cut it with RO water as you mentioned you're doing.
Joined: 06 Oct 2013 Posts: 189 Location: Beckenham, Kent, UK
Working on: IPA
Link Posted: Sun Mar 07, 2021 8:02 pm Post subject:
As Kal has said, your alkalinity is way to high for brewing water. Your sulphates and chlorides, although balanced, are also very low if you want to brew stouts or bitters/pales. What Alkalinity you set for the mash will depend mainly on what style of beer you are trying to produce. For the mash a mid-style range of alkalinity for of 20-80 mg/L as CaCO3 (pales to porters) is what I would aim for. For most styles of beer sparge water alkalinity should be in the range of 20-30 mg/L as CaCO3. This is in order that undesirable elements in the grain, such as harsh-tasting tanins are not extracted into the wort. Here in the UK we would not cut our water with RO to get the right alkalinity and salt balance but use acids instead. For instance, I would add sulphuric acid 2M to lower the alkalinity and increase the sulphates for a bitter/pale. For a stout/mild/porter I would use hydrochloric acid 2M to lower the alkalinity and increase the chlorides. Mind you, as Kal also pointed out, your Na is way too high, so you may be forced to add RO or bottled water to reduce this anyway. You certainly can't make beer with your water the way it is. _________________ "And the only time I feel alright is when I'm into drinking. It sort of eases the pain of it and levels out my thinking". Lyric extract "From Clare To Here" by Ralph McTell.
Joined: 17 May 2017 Posts: 15 Location: Williamston, MI
Link Posted: Mon Mar 08, 2021 4:45 pm Post subject:
Thanks guys, I appreciate the feedback. That's kind of what I figured. I just hate the added expense and waste of buying distilled water. Was hoping someone had a magic solution _________________ Beer is made with hops. Hops are plants. Beer is salad.
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